Finding nail polish in unlikely places

I wasn’t going to buy nail polish in the US.

For a few months now, I’ve been experiencing polish fatigue. Every new shade from familiar brands looks the same as or similar to shades I already own so I haven’t been buying as much as I used to. I also had to save up for my vacation, which meant imposing a shopping ban on myself.

You’d think going to Sephora would have meant splurging on brands that aren’t easy for me to come by (Illamasqua, butter LONDON, Urban Decay). It didn’t. My Sephora experience was one of sensory overload. There was so much stuff to see, so many choices available that I ended up not making one. I stuck to my make-up shopping list. Can you believe that?

The cold weather and low humidity level also did a number on my skin. My hands were so dry and my cuticles were cracked and ragged. It didn’t help that I wash my hands obsessively. My L’Occitane hand cream and Lush Lemony Flutter were no help at all. Even after I got back to Manila, I had to wait a couple of weeks for my cuticles to grow back before painting my nails.

I didn’t even look for the Sephora in Washington, DC. I was there for only three days and I had to visit as many museums as time would allow. I’m not a history buff but I love museums. I like to look at rocks and bones and naked statues and old things.

I did the touristy thing and scoured the museum gift shops for touristy souvenirs. Along with key chains and tote bags and T-shirts were various discounted cherry blossom-themed merchandise that made me regret missing the cherry blossoms. When I arrived, the weather was already warm and the trees were green.

As I browsed through the merchandise at the National Gallery gift shop, I came across something I never expected to see in a museum shop shelf.

Butter London Snog and Fiddlesticks Lips & Tipsbutter LONDON Lips & Tips sets! In an art museum shop! They’re bright pink so I guess they fit in with the cherry blossom theme? Each set contains a full-sized bottle of nail polish and a lip gloss and, as the stickers say, is USD25 each.

They’re very pretty but I almost passed them up. They weren’t on the shopping list and didn’t fit in the budget. I thought, I can live without yet another bright pink shade of nail polish. Even if it is butter LONDON, with its awesome formula. Even if it comes with matching lip gloss.

Good thing I like to pick things up and turn them over while I decide whether to buy them. Because there’s something on the back of each box.

bl_fiddlesticks_boxUSD9.98. For a full-sized bottle of lacquer and a lip gloss. The polish is USD15 at Sephora. The one local high-end nail salon that I know carries the brand sells each bottle for PHP900. Would I pass this up? You know me better than that.

Butter London Snog and Fiddlesticksbutter LONDON Snog is a cool-toned hot pink creme, very bright but not a neon. Fiddlesticks is a bright magenta glitter suspended in a translucent berry base.

Butter London SnogSnog is darker on the nail than these pictures show. It flatters my skin tone despite the cool undertones. I love how fresh and summery it is. The color and name are spot on. If I had to assign a color to a kiss, this would be it.

Butter London SnogIt looks a tad lighter than NARS Anardana, but I have to do comparison swatches to be sure. The brush was a bit stiff the first time I used it, which explains the unevenness around the cuticles. But the formula is signature butter LONDON, so smooth it practically applies itself. This is two coats with Poshe base and top coat.

Butter London FiddlesticksI used two coats of Fiddlesticks on an accent nail. The base is sheer but buildable, so I probably could have used a second coat or worn two coats over an opaque base.

Butter London FiddlesticksFiddlesticks dries semi-matte but not too textured. A thick coat of top coat smooths the surface and brightens up the color.

I haven’t tried the lip glosses yet but I will tomorrow. And no, I don’t regret splurging for these.


4 thoughts on “Finding nail polish in unlikely places

  1. $10? lol. That’s the United States for you. I’m surprised it was so cheap considering how expensive DC gift shops and just DC in general can be. Maybe they marked it down because the cherry blossoms have come and gone already? Either way, what a great deal!

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